Thursday, November 29, 2012
Mazel Tov! Jaffe/Nystrom to lead US to Maccabi games
Team USA have named William (Billy) Jaffe and Eric Nystrom as Head Coach and Assistant Coach for the USA Team Ice Hockey squad competing at the 19th World Maccabiah Games in July 2013 in Israel.
Jaffe, an NHL Network analyst, and Nystrom, an NHL Dallas Stars player, were selected by co-chairs Phil Pulley and Devra Schorr.
Jaffe participated at the 15th Maccabiah Games as the captain of the Open Men's Ice Hockey team, leading them to a silver medal. He also played hockey for the University of Michigan from 1987 to 1989. After many years as the color analyst for the New York Islanders, Versus Network, MSG Network, NESN and Rogers Sportsnet, he currently works as an analyst for the NHL Network.
"Going to Israel in 1997 as the team captain was a fun learning and cultural experience that I wouldn't have had if it wasn't for Ice Hockey," Jaffe said.
"My expectations are to help the players understand what a wonderful opportunity it is to experience something unique and special like the Maccabiah Games. It will be an incredible athletic and life experience."
Nystrom will be assisting Jaffe and expects to set a great example for each one of the athletes on the team. He has experience representing the United States at many different levels; from the under-18 Juniors World Cup to representing the United States in the Ice Hockey World Championships in 2010. He also attended the University of Michigan, qualifying for the All Rookie team during his debut season and becoming the captain during his final year at the University. He has also played on many different Teams in the NHL including the Calgary Flames, Minnesota Wild and currently the Dallas Stars.
"It's an exciting day for Maccabi USA to have an NHL player and analyst as the coaching staff for the Open Men's Ice Hockey Team," Schorr commented. "Their contribution to the team will elevate the Games as a whole, along with the support of professional players participating in the return of Ice Hockey at the Maccabiah Games.
"The selection of Billy and Eric was not easy, given the significant number of highly qualified applicants for these coveted coaching positions. Many elite players will participate as members of the USA Open Men's Team due to the appointment of Billy and Eric as coaches."
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since January 21, 1982. Visit my blog: NYISkinny.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick